Featured

Tottenham 2-0 Royal Antwerp – Top of another table

After last week’s frustrating 3-3 draw with LASK, it was tough to take any real positives from that performance. However, a point against the Austrian side meant that Spurs had cemented their place in the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

Despite qualification being wrapped up, Spurs sat second in Group J. Meaning they needed to beat Royal Antwerp in the last game of the group to finish first.

Jose Mourinho made nine changes from the side that won 2-0 in last Sunday’s North London derby against Arsenal. Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso being the only two remaining in the starting eleven.

Tottenham seemed to be in control of the game from start to finish, as Antwerp failed to register a single shot on target during the 90 minute affair.

With the score still at 0-0, half-time saw Reguilon make way for winger Steven Bergwijn, as Mourinho decided to shuffle the pack by going to a back four for the remaining 45 minutes.

Although looking comfortable, it took until the 57th minute and a moment of brilliance from Gareth Bale for Spurs to find a breakthrough.

The Welshman stood over a free-kick from at least 30 yards away and launched a rocket of a strike towards the top right corner, which was somehow tipped onto the post by Beiranvand.

Carlos Vinicius was the first to react to the loose ball, finishing into an empty net to give Spurs a 1-0 lead in front of 2,000 loyal supporters.

Bizarrely, Jose Mourinho made a triple substitution seconds after taking the lead, with the goalscorer Carlos Vinicius making way alongside Gareth Bale and Harry Winks for Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Tanguy Ndombele.

Tottenham 2-0 Royal Antwerp: Vinicius and Lo Celso goals seal top spot for  Mourinho's men

To nobody’s surprise the substitutes settled into the game instantly. A nice piece of linkup play between Bergwijn and Son resulted in Beiranvand having to turn away another shot which could have doubled Tottenham’s lead.

The changes didn’t stop there for the North London side, as in the 68th minute Moussa Sissoko was introduced at the expense of Lucas Moura.

Two minutes later, Lo Celso latched onto a Kane through ball and guided an outside the boot finish into the bottom left corner.

The Argentine put in a performance of the highest quality: recording an 82% pass success rate, twelve recoveries, four crosses, four chances created, six dribbles completed and scoring a goal.

Lo Celso’s performance may have spoken for itself but it didn’t stop Jose Mourinho from adding further praise.

“He was at a high level last season but got an injury and didn’t have a pre-season.

“He’s playing in the Europa League and coming off the bench in the Premier League. He played the last match well and this match very well. This is more like normal Gio.

“When he’s fit he can show that the intensity is there.”

Tottenham Hotspur seal top spot with Antwerp win - Eurosport

The result now means that Spurs sit atop of the Premier League and their Europa League group and now look forward to the Round of 32 draw.

The possible opponents for the Round of 32 consist of Krasnodar, Red Bull Salzburg, Olympiakos, Dynamo Kiev, Young Boys, Molde, Slavia Prague, Lille, Benfica, Granada, Real Sociedad, Braga, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Wolfsburg and Crvena Zvezda.

Written by Reece Coughlan

Edited by Joey Pickthall

Featured

Chelsea Vs Tottenham – London Derby

After a comfortable 4-0 home win against Ludogorets seeing Carlos Vinicius score twice and Dane Scarlett become the youngest player to play for Tottenham, Jose Mourinho’s men will now face an intense London derby, visiting Chelsea on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham are at the top of the league for the first time in six years, and if they are to continue in such fashion, this is a must win game.

Spurs have won their last five games in a row and are unbeaten in eight games of their nine league games this season, only losing to Everton.

They last met in the Carabao Cup this season, which Spurs won on penalties thanks to Mason Mount dragging his penalty wide of Hugo Lloris’ goal.

They are now in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup and face Stoke City on 23rd December.

It is looking more and more likely that Tottenham will win a trophy this season, whether it be the Carabao Cup, Europa League, or even Premier League.

After Chelsea, the fixtures get no easier, with games against: Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Leicester and Wolves.

A win for Tottenham would see them extend their lead in first place, as Liverpool drew to Brighton earlier today.

On the other hand, a win for Chelsea would see them leapfrog Tottenham and enter first.

Tottenham Team News

Unfortunately, Toby Alderweireld will be forced to miss the game against Frank Lampard’s Blues, after suffering an injury in the 2-0 victory against Manchester City.

Giovani Lo Celso is likely to start on the bench following his instant impact against City, proving an effective substitute.

Erik Lamela is still out with a calf injury. Jose Mourinho stated, “I would be very, very surprised if he said he was able to play Sunday so I will say not this week.” 

The Daily Mail report that Joe Rodon is to get his first start under Jose Mourinho, who has “barely played 10 minutes in a Spurs shirt since his move.”

As Gareth Bale started against Ludogrets it is likely that Steven Bergwijn will return to the squad, and perhaps the starting line up.

Predicted XI: Lloris, Aurier, Dier, Sanchez, Reguilon, Højbjerg, Ndombele, Sissoko, Son, Kane, Bale (4-2-3-1)

Chelsea Team News

Although Christian Pulisic has been deemed fit, its likely that Tammy Abraham will keep him out of the team for Sunday.

Since Kai Havertz was purchased by Chelsea for £89 million, it has been a battle for who starts in the Chelsea midfield. Usually Mount has been playing left-wing to replace the missing Pulisic.

But recently, Timo Werner performances in that position have been very impressive, so unless Frank Lampard tries some sort of curveball, he will start there on Sunday.

Other than Pulisic still being slightly unfit there isn’t any other first team injuries for Chelsea.

Predicted XI: Mendy, James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell, Kante, Kovacic, Havertz, Ziyech, Abraham, Werner (4-3-3)

Written by Josh Hudson

Edited by Joey Pickthall

Featured

Tottenham’s Best Midfield: A Danger to Every Team in The League, Including Us.

Ever since the signing of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg from Southampton, many Spurs fans have been begging and pleading for Jose Mourinho to start Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in a midfield three.

Unfortunately, they have still not seen the three together on the pitch at the same time, whether it be because of Lo Celso’s injuries or Ndombele’s fitness issues.

The fitness level of all three players is crucial to them being able to play together, because if one of them is not physically or even mentally fit enough, the whole team would feel the impact as the midfield is the heartbeat of any team.

Højbjerg

Højbjerg is the player Spurs have been missing for many years. A pure warrior, unfazed by physical battles and as strong a defender as many Premier League centre backs, with an average of 2.3 tackles per game, 1.1 interceptions per game and only being dribbled past 1.5 times per game. 

He also tends to have the ability to find a killer pass, not always, but his pass for Aurier’s goal against United was inch-perfect.

Lo Celso

Possibly the vocal point of our attacks when he is on the pitch, the difference he makes to the team is extraordinary. Whilst many fans see him as a replacement for Eriksen as our creative number ten, his tenacity and willingness to win the ball back suits a more well rounded midfielder.

So far this season, he already has 1.4 tackles per game, a surprisingly high amount for a player who is seen to be more of a creative outlet than a defensive force. This is due to his work rate, he is an absolute work horse who relentlessly pursues his opponent until he wins the ball.

This relentlessness combined with his pass success rate of 81% makes him an almost complete midfielder. The only qualities he lacks is dribbling and the ability to draw fouls, which is where a certain revitalised Frenchman fits into the equation.

Ndombele

Since the start of the season, we have seen a completely different Tanguy Ndombele to the one we saw last season. He now has a spring in his step and a flair to his movement. This is evident by his 1.3 dribbles per game average and even more important 1.1 fouls drawn per game, showing his ability to infuriate opposition with his intricate footwork. 

His passing ability is also strong, slightly better than Lo Celso’s with 81.3% success rate and 30.6 passes per game. However he is weak defensively, with only 0.9 tackles per game and only 0.3 interceptions, highlighting an obvious reliance on his peers to win the ball back for him to drive forward with it.

Why all three must be fully fit to start together.

If one part of the system isn’t functioning properly, eventually the whole system will cease to work. This is the case with this midfield trio, they are all reliant on the strengths of another to be able to excel at what they do best and mask their inability in other areas.

For example, if Højbjerg was not fully fit, then Lo Celso would end up having to work harder to cover for him as Ndombele is not a defensive minded player. Likewise, if Ndombele was not fully fit, then Lo Celso would have to work harder to create attacking opportunities, which would lead to Højbjerg having to work harder to win the ball back as Lo Celso would be preoccupied assessing the attacking options he could create.

If Lo Celso was not fully fit, then Højbjerg would be the sole individual in midfield able to effectively nullify attacks whilst Ndombele would be forced to start attacks by himself, ultimately exhausting himself very quickly. 

Could Spurs’ Europa League game against Ludogorets be the first time we see the three together? As many players are likely to be rested, we could see such rotation occur.

By Ben Mitcham

Edited by Joey Pickthall

Featured

Tottenham vs Man City preview – Title charge starts now ?

After another round of seemingly pointless international fixtures, Tottenham return to action this Saturday in their biggest game of the season yet, home to Manchester City.

Spurs will be wanting to build on the momentum they had heading into the break, as Jose Mourinho’s men are currently on a three game winning streak – scoring six goals and conceding twice.

Jose Mourinho claims Tottenham have no chance of beating Chelsea in Carabao  Cup with bigger game just 48 hours later
Spurs will look to go top of the table on Saturday

The Portuguese would have hoped to have the entire squad at his disposal for the upcoming set of fixtures, however Matt Doherty’s positive COVID-19 test has thrown a spanner into the works.

Doherty was one of two players to test positive after the game against Wales, along with James McClean.

He will now be forced to isolate away from the squad for ten days, ruling him out of Saturday’s clash with Manchester City and potentially Thursday’s Group J tie against Ludogoretes.

However Spurs did receive some good fortune as Welsh trio Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Joe Rodon all tested negative for the virus.

Gareth Bale, who was pictured embracing his Tottenham teammate after the game against Republic of Ireland, admitted that he felt ‘concerned’ upon hearing the news.

“It’s a slight concern for everybody when you’ve been playing someone and you’re in close contact with them on the field, Bale said.

“Maybe you’re not long enough with them to catch it, but you’re a bit wary.”

Bale later gave an update on Doherty’s condition, as he and Ben Davies had spoken to the right-back.

“Me and Ben have spoken to him briefly and he’s doing fine, he’s just got mild symptoms.

“Hopefully he recovers fine, doesn’t have any problems and will be back playing as soon as possible.”

Gareth Bale: Tottenham forward 'concerned' after embrace with club  team-mate Matt Doherty | Football News | Sky Sports
Bale and Doherty faced off against each other during the international break

Tottenham vs Manchester City has fast become one of the most entertaining fixtures in world football, with classics such as their Champions League quarter final in 2019, which saw Spurs reach their first ever semi-final in the competition on away goals (4-4 on aggregate).

The Lilywhites were able to take the three points in their most recent encounter with City, as goals from Steven Bergwijn and Heung-Min Son resulted in a 2-0 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Surprisingly, Spurs were able to remain undefeated against the Citizens last season, picking up four points from a possible six.

Heung-Min Son will be looking to build on the form which has helped him win Premier League Player of the Month for October. The winger has been directly involved in six of Tottenham’s ten goals over the course of the month – scoring four goals and assisting two.

The South Korean will also be looking to add to his impressive record against Manchester City, which boasts five goals in his last seven appearances. 

Saturday’s game kicks off a tough set of league fixtures for Tottenham with the likes of Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester City to be played in the next few weeks.

Having recently come away with a 1-0 victory against West Brom, Spurs currently sit 2nd in the table with just a point separating themselves from league leaders Leicester City.

Spurs have a record of five wins, two draws and a single loss in the Premier League this season but if they want to be viewed as title contenders, then this is the time to make their intentions known.

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur: 5 talking points as Spurs win a  war of attrition | Premier League 2020-21
Tottenham beat West Brom 1-0 in their last Premier League fixture

In contrast to Spurs, Manchester City come into this game off the back of a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola’s men have not lived up to their pre-season expectations so far and currently find themselves in 10th position, having only won three of their first seven fixtures in the league.

A win for City could see them jump to fifth in the table, depending on other results going in their favour.

Tottenham team news:

The absence of Matt Doherty has put Serge Aurier in prime position to make a return to the starting line-up. Aurier has seen his playing time reduced since the arrival of Doherty, only appearing in two of Spurs’ opening eight league games.

Versatile defender Japhet Tanganga has missed the majority of the season through injury, but is now in contention to be included in Jose Mourinho’s squad. 

However Steven Bergwijn is not expected to feature, having returned to Spurs early into the international break due to a groin injury.

Erik Lamela remains out as he continues to rehabilitate from a foot injury.

Predicted XI: Lloris, Aurier, Dier, Alderweireld, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Sissoko, Son, Kane, Bale.

Manchester City team news:

Sergio Aguero is unlikely to feature, as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Raheem Sterling is expected to make an appearance, despite damaging his calf whilst on England duty last week. The forward was released from the camp early in order to undergo fitness testing with Man City.

Predicted XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Gündoğan, Torres, Sterling, Jesus.

By Reece Coughlan

Edited by Joey Pickthall

Featured

The November international break and what it means for Tottenham:

Harry Kane’s 88th minute winner against West Brom last Sunday made it three wins on the bounce for Jose Mourinho’s side, but now the squad prepares for the international break, with many players set to be involved.

With such a talented group at the disposal of Jose Mourinho it is no surprise that Spurs’ squad boasts 13 senior internationals.

Harry Kane's 150th Premier League goal saves Tottenham against West Brom  but Gareth Bale injury will worry Jose Mourinho

The following players have been selected for the upcoming international fixtures:

Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Eric Dier (England), Gareth Bale, Ben Davies, Joe Rodon (Wales), Hugo Lloris, Moussa Sissoko (France), Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina), Matt Doherty (Ireland), Sergio Reguilon (Spain), Toby Alderweireld (Belgium), Heung-Min Son (South Korea)

On loan midfielder Gedson Fernandes has been called up to represent Portugal’s U21 side. While Norwich and Hoffenheim loanees Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon have been called up for the England U21 side.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is set to withdraw from the Danish national team due to Denmark recently being removed from the exempt travel list for Coronavirus just four days ago.

The Premier League has advised players to not travel to Denmark for the upcoming fixtures, as the government have put restrictions into place which would see anybody returning to the UK from Denmark having to isolate for 14 days.

If Hojbjerg had gone on to play for his country then he would have missed Tottenham’s next three fixtures against Manchester City (November 21st), Ludogorets (November 26th) and Chelsea (November 29th). 

Tottenham: Gareth Bale in potential injury | The Transfer Tavern
Bale receiving treatment after being substituted against West Brom

Gareth Bale’s return to the Wales squad has caused a stir in the media, as Jose Mourinho voiced his displeasure with the winger’s fitness being observed by Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg.

The Tottenham manager had this to say. “Because for the previous fixtures he called me, we spoke about Ben Davies – not Gareth Bale because Gareth was not there. 

“We shared opinions on the situation, which is probably not going to happen this time.

“And the fact that one of the coaches is an Arsenal coach does not make me very comfortable. Honestly, it does not make me very comfortable.

“National team matches should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches who work for other clubs.

“They have to manage the minutes that he plays and they should not let him get to fatigue levels”.

Bale has been making good progress since returning to Spurs, which saw him rewarded with his first Premier League start in 7 years against West Brom.

Internationals – Spurs against Spurs in Sunday's action! | Tottenham Hotspur
Dier and Alderweireld will face off during the international break

Some Spurs players will be going head-to-head with one another over the next two weeks, as Matt Doherty’s Ireland will go up against an England team consisting of Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Eric Dier. Before he travels to Wales in order to play another Spurs trio made up of Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Joe Rodon.

Kane, Dier and Winks won’t only have to face off against Doherty during the break, as they also go to Belgium on the 15th November to lock horns with Toby Alderweireld in the Nations League.

Tanguy Ndombele, who suffered a minor injury against West Brom, will not be joining up with the French national team and will remain at the club in preparation for the resumption of the Premier League.

Steven Bergwijn has also returned to Hotspur Way after withdrawing from the Netherlands squad due to injury, whilst training alone for the two days of camp he was there.

Tottenham’s next six fixtures in the Premier League consist of Manchester City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester.

Jose Mourinho will want his players managed carefully over the course of the next two weeks as the upcoming months will give an indication into how far Spurs are from reaching their ambitions for the season.

By Reece Coughlan

Relief, disappointment and international duty – A week in the life of Tottenham Hotspur (21st March – 28th March)

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa – 21st March

After such a catastrophic performance against Dynamo Zagreb, Spurs traveled to Villa Park looking to save their season.

Jose Mourinho faced a fair amount of scrutiny following Spurs’ exit from Europe and made his feelings toward the squad known as seven changes were made from the starting eleven.

Aurier, Dier, Davies, Sissoko, Winks, Lamela and Dele would all miss out and be replaced by Tanganga, Rodon, Reguillon, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Lo Celso and Vinicius. Kane, Moura and Lloris would be the only three to remain.

Academy products Dane Scarlett and Alfie Devine were also given places on the Tottenham bench.

Mourinho and Spurs fans alike certainly got the reaction that they were looking for after 29 minutes of action as Vinicius chased down a long ball from Reguilon forcing a mistake from Martinez, who raced off his line but failed to make a clearance. Allowing Moura to capitalise by playing a nice one-two with Kane before squaring the ball to Vinicius, who has an empty net in front of him.

Having scored his first Premier League goal, the on-loan Brazilian striker has now scored nine goals in nine starts for the North London club.

Tottenham beats Aston Villa 2-0 to keep CL spot in sight | Raleigh News &  Observer

The first half was a positive one for a new-look Spurs team, as the unfamiliar back-line was able to stop Aston Villa from registering a single shot towards the Tottenham goal in the opening 45 minutes.

The reliable Harry Kane would double the Lilywhites’ lead from the penalty spot in the 68th minute after a reckless challenge from Cash.

Kane has been on an absolute tear this season, currently leading the Premier League in both goals and assists with seventeen and thirteen respectively.

Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur - Football Match Summary - March 21, 2021  - ESPN

The win leaves Mourinho’s side in sixth place, only three points behind fourth place Chelsea going into the international break.

With the potential return of Heung-min Son looming and a place in the top four, Spurs still have it all to play for to end the season.

Gareth Bale’s comments – 23rd March

It’s fair to say that Gareth Bale’s comments caused quite a stir among Spurs fans this week.

The Welshman was asked about his current situation at Tottenham and where he expects to be next season during a press conference, ahead of Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Belgium.

“There’s no distraction for me,” said Bale.

“I think the main reason I came to Spurs this year was to play football first and foremost.

“Going into the Euros I wanted to be match-fit. The original plan was to do a season at Spurs and after the Euros still have a year left at Real Madrid.

“My plan is to go back, that’s as far I have planned.”

Jose Mourinho insists Gareth Bale and Dele Alli have futures at Tottenham  following loss to Man City - Eurosport

Many viewed Bale’s comments as a form of disrespect towards Spurs and questioned why he would want to return to Real Madrid, due to his tainted relationship with current manager Zinedine Zidane.

In reality this is a typical comment that loan players often give, Bale is still contracted to Real Madrid for another year once his loan with Spurs expires so for him to comment on his future elsewhere without anything being agreed shouldn’t be expected.

According to Marca, Bale is not in Real Madrid’s plans next season with the club keen to sell him before the expiration of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.

football.london reported that Spurs have the first option to bring Bale back next season, if he agrees. The terms of his loan would remain the same if triggered, meaning roughly 40 percent of the wingers wages would be paid by Spurs.

International break

With nineteen Spurs players representing their nations during the international break, it’s safe to say that the club will be well represented for the next two weeks.

The following players have been selected to participate in senior fixtures for their nation:

Gareth Bale, Joe Rodon (Wales), Toby Alderweireld (Belgium), Steven Bergwijn (Netherlands), Harry Kane, Eric Dier (England), Tanguy Ndombele, Moussa Sissoko, Hugo Lloris (France), Matt Doherty, Troy Parrott (Ireland), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Denmark), Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) and academy centre-back Maksim Paskotsi (Estonia).

Following call-ups for the England U21 squad, on-loan pair Ryan Sessegnon and Oliver Skipp join Japhet Tangnga for UEFA Euro U21 action, while Alfie Devine and Dennis Cirkin link up with England’s U19 squad.

Ben Davies was forced to withdraw from Wales’ squad due to an injury that he picked up against Aston Villa. The left-back is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks.

Dane Scarlett’s new deal – 28th March

Academy standout Dane Scarlett was rewarded with his first professional contract after breaking into Mourinho’s matchday squad at the age of sixteen.

The young striker’s contract will run until 2023, having been triggered following his 17th birthday.

Everything you need to know about Spurs record breaker Dane Scarlett -  PlanetFootball

Scarlett made his first team debut in Spurs’ Europa League victory against Ludogorets Razgrad in November 2020. He has currently racked up three appearances for the senior side, including a Premier League debut vs West Bromwich Albion.

The Hillingdon-born forward has scored 22 goals in 18 appearances for the U18 and U23 sides this season.

By Reece Coughlan

A week in the life of Tottenham Hotspur: 7th – 14th March

Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Crystal Palace – 7th March (Alfie)

Sunday night saw Spurs pick up their third win in a week, leaving the most impressive display till last.

Following wins earlier in the week, Spurs completed a second-half rout against the South London side to take their aggregate scoreline of 13-1 for the week.

Pushing the Lilywhites’ goal tally for the season past 100, second only to Europe’s elite – Bayern Munich.

It was 90 minutes in dreamland once again, with Gareth Bale and Harry Kane running the show. A partnership fans could only dream about years ago, was unfolding in front of their eyes.

Spurs’ first two goals showed the duo’s prowess in full flow, Kane’s passing ability combined with Bale’s intelligent attacking positioning, allowed Spurs to score twice either side of a stooping Benteke header for the visitors.

Kane then produced one of the goals of the season, hitting a first time pass from Matt Doherty across the keeper, sailing into the far corner.

The win was then sealed after Heung-Min Son selflessly squared across to Kane for his second and Spurs’ fourth – breaking the 25 year-old record for most goal contributions by a partnership in a single season.

Jose Mourinho opted for his familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with three changes in the starting XI from the team that beat Fulham, with Tanguy Ndombele being handed a well-deserved rest.

Ben Davies & Dele Alli were replaced by Sergio Reguilon and Lucas Moura as the team was refreshed at the end of a busy week.

The changes in the side were awarded immediately, after Moura’s relentless pressing allowed Bale to tap in for his first goal of the night.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb – 11th March (@sheku_thfc42)

After Sunday’s thrashing of Crystal Palace, it was back to Europa League action for Tottenham against Dinamo Zagreb in the round of 16.

A fast start by the Croatian outfit put Spurs immediately on the back foot, with two great chances for them to take the lead early on.

However, Tottenham inevitably settled into the game, creating a few close chances but failing to capitalise.

But then, a skilful Erik Lamela solo run left five defenders in his wake, only for his left footed shot to come off the post for a Harry Kane tap in.

The start of the 2nd half brought more refereeing controversy, with Serdar Gözübüyük failing to award a clear penalty on Tanguy Ndombele.

The second half continued in the same vein as the majority of the first half with Tottenham creating lots of chances but failing to convert.

Gareth Bale and Steven Bergwijn nearly doubled the lead minutes after coming on, with the Dutchman narrowly missing the post.

The lead was eventually doubled in the 69th minute with Serge Aurier finding Harry Kane in the box for his 26th goal in all competitions.

Bale nearly made it 3-0 as the Zagreb keeper punched his swerving free-kick away from goal.

Next week sees the highly anticipated North London Derby and the second leg of Spurs’ Last 16 tie.

A week in the life of Tottenham Hotspur: 28th February – 6th March

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Burnley – 28th February

It was vintage Gareth Bale at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, with a return to winning ways in the Premier League.

Sky Sports brought some pre-match entertainment, with Roy Keane effectively calling Bale “average.” Which he took personally.

It took just two minutes for Bale to be distinctly unaverage, latching on to a low in-swinging ball from Heung-Min Son to make it 1-0.

Spurs continued to bombard the Burnley defence with chance after chance. Then it was Harry Kane’s turn in front of goal.

After a fantastic start to the game, Bale picked the ball up well inside his own half and sent a long ball out to Kane, who came inside and smashed the ball past the breakdancing Nick Pope.

Before long, it was three. Sergio Reguilón floated a ball to Lucas Moura, who expertly put the ball into the back of the net.

Much of the same came early on in the second half. Serge Aurier looked good on the right, Kane was all over the park, and the midfield duo of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele were controlling the middle of the pitch.

Burnley slowly began to grow into the game, but then Spurs broke at lightning speed. Son found Bale with a cross-field through ball and without hesistation, the Welshman found the far corner to send Spurs four up.

Full time, a strong defensive display and the fourth time in a month scoring four goals… lots to be pleased about.

Loan Watch

Oliver Skipp (Norwich) vs Brentford – 3rd March

A huge clash at the top of the Championship saw Skippy help his side to an important three points, taking Norwich 10 points clear at the top.

Despite one over-ambitious attempt at a pass to Max Aarons, his clever play on and off the ball, commanding challenges, and fantastic block in stoppage time earned him yet another ‘Man of the Match’ award from Norwich’s Twitter page.

We’re sure the Spurs fans had nothing to do with his landslide victory…

Cameron Carter-Vickers (Bournemouth) vs Bristol City – 3rd March

‘CCV’ scored a late goal, courtesy of his backside, to earn Bournemouth three crucial points in their hunt for promotion.

No clean sheet for the American, but it was a decent enough overall performance, and his winning goal made it a thoroughly good evening.

Jack Clarke (Stoke) vs Swansea – 3rd March

A frustrating evening for Jack Clarke, as he conceded a penalty in the final seconds of injury time, which was converted, costing them a point. There was minimal contact, if any.

He certainly divided opinion after coming on as a substitute at half time, with his lively play on the ball, and his ability to draw fouls, causing the winger to trend on Twitter.

Ryan Sessegnon (Hoffenheim) vs Union Berlin – 28th February

Came on for a 23 minute cameo in a disappointing draw, after playing 20 in the Europa League that Thursday.

Before then, he had missed seven games through injury, so it was a much needed return to play for the Englishman.

Juan Foyth (Villarreal) vs Atlético de Madrid – 28th February

Villarreal succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of league-leaders Atlético, with Foyth playing in the role of right-back.

The Argentine was not at fault for either of the goals and it was a confident performance yet again, despite appearing in multiple positions this season for the Yellow Submarine.

Troy Parrott (Ipswich Town) vs Accrington Stanley – 2nd March

His spell at Millwall may not have been particularly successful, but Troy Parrott seems to be making a name for himself in East Anglia.

He didn’t have too many sights of goal, but he won a penalty and worked tirelessly in the victory for the Tractor Boys.

Harvey White (Portsmouth) vs Doncaster – 2nd March

He recently scored his first senior goal, but Harvey was unable to prevent his side from a poor 2-1 loss at the hands of Doncaster Rovers.

The loss will be a bitter blow to Pompey’s promotion hopes, as now they could fall out of the playoff spaces if games in hand don’t go their way.

Fulham 0-1 Tottenham – 5th March

After a cutting edge display of attacking prowess on Sunday, a more subdued affair was in store for Thursday’s midweek fixture.

Fulham had a lively start to the game, repeatedly driving at Spurs’ defence, dominating the first 10 minutes with 60% possession.

Hugo Lloris, fresh from receiving his 100th Premier League clean sheet, was eager to make it 101 against the London side.

A combination of him and Davinson Sanchez kept Fulham at bay. Then in the 19th minute, a pass from midfield by Dele found Son on the wing, who then returned the favour to an onrushing Dele into the box – meant Spurs took the lead.

However, de ja vu struck late into the first half, as Tottenham and Harry Kane especially, failed to capitalised on a few golden chances to double the lead.

This theme continued into the second half, where Spurs’ failure to kill the game off nearly resulted in the spoils being shared.

Josh Maja rightfully scored in the 62nd minute, only for VAR to dubiously rule the goal out for a handball in the build-up. Since that the decision, the law has already been changed.

Ultimately Tottenham’s defence stood strong, with the likes of Sanchez playing superbly once again, and showing many fans why he deserves to play every week.

Next week, Tottenham host Crystal Palace in the Premier League & Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Brom- “the Harry Kane team”

It was a return to winning ways for Tottenham Hotspur after a miserable three games for the Lilywhites, with Harry Kane back in the lineup and Heung-Min Son back amongst the goals.

The team news was met with shock from Spurs fans and rival fans alike: both Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela were playing, but the attention-grabbing inclusion was Harry Kane, injured a few weeks previously against Liverpool, but back in the side sooner than expected. Mourinho made four changes, while Sam Allardyce made five after his own disappointing defeat midweek.

The game got underway in snowy North London, with Spurs the side looking to make the early punches. Harry Kane’s passing clearly made a difference right from the start, and Lucas looked lively, making an early run through the West Brom defence, before Bartley made the most of a heavy touch round Ajayi.

The first few big chances of the game fell to Harry Kane. The first was a product of some excellent work down the right flank by Erik Lamela, playing the ball through to a surging Serge Aurier (pun intended) despite being on his way to the ground. Aurier played a beautiful square ball across to Harry Kane who, on his left foot, blazed agonisingly wide. The next one was a far bigger chance. Kane was somehow first to a wayward through ball from Tanguy Ndombele, after taking a deflection of a defender, and found himself in acres of space in front of the net. A fully fit Harry Kane is smashing it past the keeper, but his shot could only bobble past the post. Perhaps he was distracted by the tribute to Ronald McDonald that West Brom were wearing.

His ankle seemed to give him issues again minutes later. Not feeling that he could hit it first time, Kane shifted it to his right foot inside the box, before having his rather weak shot blocked by a defender. Another effort was palmed away by Johnstone soon after.

A big chance came from a corner, but neither Aurier’s header or Toby Alderweireld’s strike could beat a desperate defence as Lee Peltier and Robert Snodgrass threw everything at it.

After 45 minutes, West Brom created a big chance. Snodgrass sent a cross over to the back post, where Diagne had drifted away from Davinson Sánchez. His header was a solid one, but Hugo Lloris got behind it at the crucial moment. West Brom were adamant that it had crossed the line, but there was no buzz of the watch. It would have been the ultimate smash-and-grab half from West Brom, but the sides went in at half-time still level.

Heung-Min Son had the first chance of the second half, but his low effort was kicked away by Johnstone. Lamela followed it up with a slalom in the snow that most Olympic skiiers would have been proud of, but he couldn’t find the finish, a right-footed shot (or cross?) going off for a goal kick.

6 minutes later, BOOM! Harry Kane latched onto an incredible through ball from Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and slid it past the keeper. He still couldn’t quite hit it with the venom that we’ve come to expect of Tottenham, England and perhaps the world’s best striker, but it was placed with accuracy that more than made up for that.

His class was shown again with a sumptuous touch with his chest, sending Lucas through on the counter. The Brazilian obliged, surging right through the defence and sliding the ball into Heung-Min Son. He’d missed one opportunity today, and that was certainly not happening again. 2-0. Spurs were firmly in the driving seat.

Snodgrass sent a cross over to the back post, where Diagne had drifted away from Davinson Sánchez. His header was a solid one, and this time it was sent past Hugo Lloris, but it was deemed offside. A wake-up call.

At 64 minutes, Erik Lamela did what Erik Lamela does best (no, not making the most of minimal contact from Anthony Martial) and got booked for a lunge on Sam Gallagher.

Lively throughout, Lamela had a pretty good game. Sharp on the ball, dedicated in the challenge before he was replaced by Steven Bergwijn with 20 minutes left to go.

On 82 minutes, Pereira sent a cross over to the back post, where Diagne had drifted away from Davinson Sánchez. His finish was a solid one, but again, his goal was disallowed for offside. To his credit, it looked like very good defending from the Colombian, making sure the offside call would be given through clever use of his body.

16-year-old Dane Scarlett came on for a minute-long cameo, and became the only ever 16-year-old to take part in a Premier League game for Tottenham Hotspur. And that was about it. An uneventful final ten minutes culminated in three points for Tottenham Hotspur, and a thoroughly deserved win.

Attention now goes to an FA Cup clash against Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton, who we face for the first time since our inability to head the ball in defence cost us points in our first game of the season. Spurs are still in all the cup competitions this season, and it would be lovely if we could keep it that way. Come on you Spurs.

Tottenham 4-1 Wycombe – Misleading scoreline sees Spurs advance.

It may have felt like a lifetime ago, but Spurs returned to action eight days after defeating Sheffield United to face Wycombe Wanderers in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The competition’s draw has been quite generous to Jose Mourinho’s team so far, putting them in a David vs Goliath match up with eight-tier Marine and then bottom of the Championship Wycombe. 

Bale, Winks and Ndombele ensure Spurs avoid Wycombe FA Cup shock | FA Cup |  The Guardian

Tottenham had made ten changes from the side that won 3-1 at Bramall Lane, with stand-in captain Ben Davies being the only player to remain. Gareth Bale was given the opportunity to start his first game in a month, having recovered from a calf injury sustained against Stoke in the Carabao Cup quarter final.

Gareth Bale should have given Spurs the lead in the opening five minutes, as the Welshman connected with Lucas Moura’s corner but his header was wide of the Wycombe post.

Only a couple minutes later and accomplished backup goalkeeper Joe Hart was all that stood in the way of the hosts taking the lead. A flicked header from Leicester City loanee, Admiral Muskwe looked destined for the top corner but the former England number one was able to claw the shot away for a corner.

Not long after regaining control of the fixture, another opportunity arose for Bale as the ball fell to him on the edge of the eighteen yard box but he failed to convert once again.

Despite having come close to conceding on multiple occasions, the Chairboys were able to take the lead in the 25th minute after Davinson Sanchez’ attempted block landed perfectly for an incoming Fred Onyedinma to slot into the bottom left corner.

Late show sees Spurs past Wycombe and into FA Cup fifth round

Shortly after going ahead, Gareth Ainsworth was forced into making a change due to injury. Joe Jacobson had tried to battle through the pain but was clearly not in any condition to continue and was subsequently substituted for Darius Charles.

It seemed as if it just wasn’t going to be Tottenham’s night in the closing stages of the first half, with efforts from Moussa Sissoko and Japhet Tanganga smacking the crossbar.

After trying to find a breakthrough all half, Spurs fans were able to take a sigh of relief. Gareth Bale finally took advantage of the lack of concentration from Wycombe’s defenders by getting on the end of a Lucas Moura cross before guiding the ball into the back of the net.

Wycombe Wanderers 1-4 Tottenham: Bale, Winks and Ndombele see Mourinho's  men through cup scare - myKhel

Jose Mourinho had decided to go with a new approach for the second half, as Japhet Tanganga made way for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. A move that would see Moussa Sissoko play the right-back position instead of his usual role in the heart of the midfield.

Not much had changed for the two sides after the restart, Spurs were unable to make their numerous chances count while Wycombe sat back and hoped to take advantage of the few chances that they had.

The sixty minute mark seemed to be when Mourinho had seen enough as superstars Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Tanguy Ndombele entered the frame over the course of the next fifteen minutes in place of Carlos Vinicius, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela.

Gareth Ainsworth tried to counter the opposing substitutions by making a few of his own over the same time span. Matt Bloomfield, Admiral Muskwe and Uche Ikpeazu had their time cut short and were replaced by Garath McClary, Scott Kashket and fan-favourite Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Wycombe 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Late goal flurry power Spurs to FA Cup 5th  Round - Cartilage Free Captain

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min continued the Lilywhites’ streak of not finding the back of the net but a new sense of danger could be felt upon their arrival.

Harry Winks would break the hearts of many Wycombe fans in the 86th minute, as he broke the deadlock with a curling effort from twenty yards out. A goalmouth scramble had led to a poor clearance from the defender which eventually fell to the England international.

It seemed as if Spurs just needed that late goal to spring into action, as Tanguy Ndombele would increase the lead just a minute later with a calm one touch finish into the bottom eight corner.

With just a minute remaining in added time you would expect Spurs to just maintain possession and see the match through, but Ndombele had other ideas. The Frenchman would remind everyone that he is one of the most technically gifted footballers in the world by dancing his way into space, before using an outrageous piece of skill to split the two defenders and strike the ball between them for his second goal of the game.

Ndombele’s game consisted of two shots on target, two goals, sixteen touches, three duels won, two key passes, one big chance created and a 75% pass completion in only twenty-two minutes of action.

Wycombe vs Tottenham result, final score and FA Cup report | The Independent

Jose Mourinho admitted that he feared his side would be taken to extra time by the Championship outfit.

What can we do? We want to progress in the competition. We don’t want to throw it away. We don’t want to lose. We needed a good strong team and a good strong bench.

“It would be more of a problem with 30 minutes extra time because Kane’s 30 minutes becomes 60 and so on, but hopefully nothing. I didn’t see huge fatigue. Ben Davies, I hope just a bad feeling and not anything on his calf.

“But I knew that the game was going to be difficult. We prepared the game knowing it could be hard and it was. It’s not easy to handle their style of play.

“I showed the players clips of when we played them four years ago and it was a difficult game then and it was again.”

Jose Mourinho relieved after late show sees Tottenham past Wycombe in FA  Cup – YO1 radio

Everton will be Tottenham’s opponents in the fifth round of the FA Cup, having beaten Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

Spurs will now be looking to avenge their last minute defeat at the hands of Liverpool on Thursday. With only a point separating the two teams a win for the North London side would take them five points behind leaders Manchester City.

By Reece Coughlan

Oliver Skipp – How a “future captain” is performing on loan.

Unlike rival clubs Tottenham haven’t had much progress in developing their youth talent into first team players.

Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Japhet Tanganga are the only current members of the first team that have been awarded senior contracts after going through the clubs youth system.

However, on-loan midfielder Oliver Skipp has given Spurs a reason to be excited for the future.

Skipp has managed to rack up 23 appearances for the senior team, since his breakthrough in October 2018 and was rewarded with a new three-year contract with the option to extend for a fourth year on July 17th 2020.

Some fans react to Spurs loanee Oliver Skipp's display last night - The  Boot Room

Olivier Skipp has seen his game be compared to £15 million summer signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

The two deep-lying midfielders like to sit between the defence and midfield, dispossessing opposing attackers and covering for those out of position, while still being able to make a contribution going forward.

The 20 year old Englishman has received high praise from the likes of Daniel Farke to Jose Mourinho.

Mauricio Pochettino, gave Skipp his professional debut whilst managing the club and seemed to be a big admirer of the youngster.

“Fantastic, fantastic. I think he played like a 30-year-old man.

“He was so relaxed, trying to play forward and trying to give the team what the team needs, plenty of energy, full energy, I am so proud of him.

“I think everyone is proud of him. He is only 18-years-old and I think it was fantastic.” said Pochettino after a 3-1 win on Skipp’s first senior start.

If you thought that Pochettino’s comments were a tribute to how good the England U21 is then the comments made by Mourinho will blow you away.

“I think he’s genuinely Tottenham’s future. He’s one of these players by human quality, by personality, he is one of these kids that I have no doubt he will be an important player for Tottenham.

“I never told him I want him to go on loan, I always told him I wanted him to stay here, because that’s the selfish perspective of a coach who wants the best possible squad. In his mind he wants to go on loan, six months, the whole season.

“I think he can be more than a player, he can be a future captain here. Hugo, Harry. I see this kid being one day a future captain here by his character, by his personality. I feel really happy that he signed.”

Oliver Skipp: A star in the making? - Fortunes From Football

In August Skipp joined Championship side Norwich City on a season-long loan, in order to receive regular first team football whilst being able to help the Canaries compete for promotion back to the Premier League.

The decision to go on loan is looking to have paid off wonderfully for both parties, as Norwich currently sit 1st in the Championship with 53 points, while Skipp is being given a key role in a side who are on track to reach their ambitions set before the season kicked off.

The central midfielder has started all 25 of Norwich’s league games this season, creating 19 chances and having an 88.3% passing accuracy.

Skipp was also named Norwich’s Player of the Month for September.

Oliver Skipp wins September Player of the Month award - News - Norwich City

With Skipp turning in quality performances week in and week, the big question is what will Spurs do with the youngster next season?

Will he be an understudy to Hojbjerg?, can he replace Sissoko?, will he go back out on loan?

Not much can be said on the matter at the moment but what we do know is that Spurs have a potential diamond on their books and must do whatever is necessary for him to succeed.

By Reece Coughlan

More blues for the lilywhites; Tottenham 1-1 Fulham review

It seems as though Tottenham have played the same game multiple times this season, as the failure to extend their lead proves to be the downfall of the squad and in the closing of the 90 minutes that failure is punished. In this meeting, Kane’s first-half header was cancelled out by Ivan Cavaleiro’s in the second half, resulting in another disappointing draw which really should’ve been a win.

Spurs and Fulham have now had their first draw since December 2009, and between then and now Tottenham had won 10 out of 11 games against their London rivals. This is now Tottenham’s longest unbeaten run of London derbies (8) (W3 D5).

25 minutes into the game, a fantastic long-ball from Hojbjerg found Reguilon on the left flank who supplied an inch-perfect cross to Kane who headed home to open the scoring, the Englishman’s 11th league goal of the season. Shortly after, he missed an arguably easier chance from just 8 yards out from a Serge Aurier cross.

His attacking partner Heung-Min Son had more of a quiet game, kept out at close-range by Alphonse Areola on the stroke of half-time as well as hitting the post with 20 minutes left, and just a couple minutes later the equaliser came.

Only Brighton (12) and Sheffield United (11) have dropped more points than Tottenham this season when in a winning position and Mourinho had his fair say after the match, saying proclaiming that the performance was “Not good enough, but good enough to win… Not good enough because we have to play better in a more consistent way”

“In the first half, we had chances to kill the game, but when you don’t do it, you cannot concede goals the way we did “This is the same story basically since the beginning of the season”.

Next for Jose’s side is Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and Chris Wilder’s side have just picked up their first league win of the season at home to Newcastle. It’s a given that the game is a must-win and after missing out on third-place after their 17th game of the season, Mourinho will leave no room for excuses on the weekend.

Player ratings: Lloris (6), Reguilon (7), Sanchez (5), Dier (6), Aurier (7), Sissoko (6), Winks (6), Hojbjerg (6), Ndombele (7), Son (5), Kane (7)

Marine Review

After a successful win midweek to progress to the League Cup final, we started our FA Cup campaign playing Marine of the Northern Premier Divison in a real ‘David v Goliath’ clash.

This was the biggest gap in an FA Cup tie in the history of the competition with 161 places between the sides.

Marine are one of the only clubs not named after the town but are named after the local pub.

They play their games in Crosby, 15 minutes away from Anfield and while as a result of the National lockdown restrictions they were not allowed to have fans at the game, they managed to sell 30, 697 virtual tickets.

Tottenham named a weakened team that still featured some players with international caps such as Dele and Alderweireld, along with a first team debut for academy player Harvey White, a rare start for Gedson Fernandes and a spot on the bench for academy starlet Alfie Devine.

Marine’s starting lineup featured a goalkeeper who works at Sainsbury’s , a binman playing in midfield and an PE teacher up front.

In the first 15 minutes, we controlled the game and had chances but were not clinical enough with shots from dele and Lucas not troubling the keeper.

Marine had a shot from long range which troubled hart which was a wake up call for the team. But minutes later, a well worked goal finished off by Vinicius put us 1-0 up.

We continued to dominate with a Gedson shot sailing over the bar, but a dele pass to Doherty resulted in a great save by the keeper who could only parry it out to the path of Vinicius who got his a 2nd to make it 2-0.

Lucas won a free kick just outside the box and scored from it directed it like a rocket. A counter from nothing by marine nearly resulted in a goal with a key block from Rodon preventing a goal bound shot from going in. An acute finish from Vinicius sealed his hatrick just before halftime.

1st Half Stats

Possession – 27-73%

Shots- 2-10

Completed passes- 60-262

Big chances- 0-3

Jose handed Alfie Devine his first senior appearance and the half started with a few Marine chances.

A Carlos Vinicius chance for a 4th went over a davies cross led to a Lucas shot which went wide. A great moment for Alfie Devine with a goal on his first appearance in senior football from a Lucas pass with a well taken acute finish.

We maintained our control of the games with a lot of free kicks being won but none managing to trouble the keeper with a Harvey White attempt sailing over and a Gareth Bale free kick not troubling the keeper.

In the last knockings of the game we just kept possession and hardly threatened the home side with the only real chance being a Vinicius shot going over the bar in added time

2nd Half Stats

Possession- 23-77%

Shots- 3-9

Completed passes- 68-347

Big chances- 0-1

Player Ratings

Hart- 5 Didn’t have a lot to deal with apart from a long range effort in the first half he was nearly beat by.

Doherty- 4 Got forward well and was unlucky not to score from a dele ball which fell to Vinicius for his 2nd but looked vulnerable defensively .

Alderweireld- 6 Solid, defended well, nullified their threats looked very comfortable out there a good half by the Belgian.

Rodon- 7 Solid as a rock limited their physical striker and any other threats they had with a key block to prevent a goal bound shot going in.

Davies- 6 Got forward well and defended well put some decent crosses in as well a good showing.

Sissoko- 7 Controlled the midfield, was a threat progressing the ball in transition into the attacking third.

White- 6 A good showing on his first start was very tidy on the ball and won a lot of free kicks had a few chances from free kicks that hit the wall or went off target.

Gedson- 4 Had some good moments but was very wasteful with the ball in key situations, needs a better showing next time out to prove he deserves minutes in other competitions. 

Dele- 8 Played a key role in a lot of the goals and really took the game by the scruff of the neck with an assist a good showing.

Lucas- 7 Was always a threat going forward, won lots of fouls and scored a wonder free kick had chances to score more than 1 goal also contributed with an assist

Vinicius- 10 Hatrick hero 3rd goal was very well taken which will do him the world of confidence regardless of the opposition.

Subs

Devine- 7 A good first team debut for the 16 year old looked to make something happen with the ball driving forward well with a well taken goal to show for his efforts.

Tanganga- 6 Very solid defended well when he had to and nullified their threats.

Bale- 5 Didn’t have the huge impact as expected had a free kick that forced the keeper into a save and a shot that went wide but not much else apart from that.

Clarke- 5 Looked bright when he came on had a shot and linked up play well not much else.

Reguilon – 5 Not on the pitch long enough to have a real impact but got forward well and was good defensively.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brentford- 13 years and counting…

Spurs are on their way to Wembley, Tottenham’s gonna do it again! It’s lucky for Spurs when the year ends in one, as they booked their place in the first Wembley final since 2015 with a comfortable victory against Championship high-flyers Brentford on Tuesday.

No manager has played in more domestic finals in England than Jose Mourinho since his debut season in the country, and his team selection proved how seriously he wants to win a trophy. As a result, Spurs very much started on the front foot, getting forward early, with Sergio Reguilón forcing an early corner.

After ten minutes, as Brentford had been starting to show their talent, Reguilón whipped a gorgeous left-footed cross into the box towards Moussa Sissoko, who must’ve thought he’d recieved an early Christmas present with the amount of space he had to himself inside the Brentford box.

He made no mistake, impeccably guiding the ball past David Raya to score his first goal since December 2019 (his last goal, coming against Burnley, was overshadowed by a certain Korean winger’s individual slaloming piece of excellence).

To the delight of many, Spurs did not sit back on their 1-0 lead, instead pushed for a second. Often through Reguilón on the left, or through Tanguy Ndombele down the middle. However, they failed to create too much of note in the first half, bar a Lucas Moura header from a corner, which was well saved by Raya.

Brentford had some chances of their own, Bryan Mbuemo causing havoc down the right wing, but Eric Dier and Davinson Sánchez held firm.

Brentford’s best chance of the game came a few minutes into the second half. Mbuemo rounded Sánchez on the right and fizzed the ball back to Ivan Toney, usually excellent in front of goal.

Yet, he found his effort heroically blocked by Serge Aurier, who very much made the most of his opportunity to show his worth after the Leicester rugby tackle. Almost instantly after, he missed a wonderful chance at the other end, sending his shot over the bar after some good work by Lucas.

Kane took a free kick after 52 minutes. It went in the general direction of the goal, and that’s all we’ll say on that.

After some minor chances at either end, Tottenham’s set-piece woes continued, with Ivan Toney heading home into an empty net after Hugo Lloris was unable to fully clear a header from Pinnock.

His celebrations were muted, perhaps in the fear of what could come. And indeed, the dreaded VAR check ensued, and ruled his knee to have been offside- by no more than millimetres. It was incredibly close- but rules are rules. No goal!

Spurs looked to push on and make the most of their stroke of luck, and it was only a matter of minutes before the inevitable happened. Tanguy Ndombele played a wonderfully weighted pass in behind the defence, and Heung-Min Son, after already running what seemed like the length of the pitch, latched on to it and fired home to stretch the lead and put the game seemingly beyond doubt.

In quick succession, Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele came close to extending the lead even further, but were denied by Raya and the post respectively, before Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was horribly sent to the ground by a challenge from former Arsenal graduate Josh Dasilva, leaving a huge gash down his leg.

Intentional? Probably not. But excruciating to watch? Absolutely. Referee Mike Dean sent him for an early bath after consulting with VAR. With ten men remaining on the field, it was over for Brentford. After a heated exchange of words, Højbjerg was (against his wishes) brought off the pitch to be replaced by Japhet Tanganga, as Mourinho couldn’t take any risks. It was another fantastic performance from the Dane, who won 13 duels, and had a passing accuracy of 88%.

Chas and Dave could be heard over the Tottenham Hotspur Speakers at full time, as Wembley beckons. Moussa Sissoko didn’t know it, but ‘Ossie’s Dream’ would have brought memories back to some of the older Tottenham faithful, released in 1981. The side would go on to beat Manchester City 3-2 in an FA Cup final replay to take home the famous old trophy. As Chas and Dave (and the Tottenham side of 1991) also told us, “it’s lucky for Spurs when year ends in one, we first won the cup when the century begun”. And indeed, a third of our major trophies have been won in years ending in 1. Coincidence? Or will we get our 25th major trophy in April? Will we end 13 years of hurt?

The cup action doesn’t stop there. Spurs travel north to the home of eighth-tier Marine FC, at 5pm on Sunday 10th January, to contest what will be Tottenham’s first FA Cup match against non-league opposition since 1995, in which they played out a 3-0 win over Altrincham.

Written by Ollie Mitchell

Edited by Joey Pickthall

Tottenham vs Marine – No room for an upset

Having already booked a place in the Carabao Cup final, Tottenham will now turn their attention to eighth-tier Marine in the third round of the FA Cup. 

The fixture hosts the biggest mismatch in the competitions history with Marine currently placed sixth in the Northern Premier League North West, while Spurs sit fourth in the Premier League.

Tottenham player ratings vs Brentford: Sissoko, Ndombele, Hojbjerg dominate  midfield to book Wembley ticket | Evening Standard

You only have to go back to Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Brentford to find Tottenham’s last encounter with a lower league club.

Spurs were able to take the lead in the 12th minute, as Sergio Reguilon whipped a pin-point cross into the opposing box for Moussa Sissoko to guide his header into the top right corner. An unlikely goal for the Frenchman, who last scored against Burnley in December 2019.

However Brentford would not go away quietly and were inches away from equalising in the 63rd minute through a close range header from striker Ivan Toney. Fortunately for Jose Mourinho’s side the goal was ruled out by VAR for offside.

Heung-min Son would take the nerves out of the game in the 70th minute, by making a blistering run in between the Brentford defenders to get on the end of a Tanguy Ndombele through ball and score in clinical fashion.

The 86th minute was worrisome for Spurs, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had been on the receiving end of a challenge, which was viewed as dangerous by Mike Dean. After checking the monitor the veteran referee decided to give midfielder Josh Dasilva a straight red card, while Jose Mourinho took no risks and subbed off the Dane, despite his best efforts in trying to persuade his manager to let him see out the rest of the game.

Carabao Cup LIVE: Tottenham v Brentford live commentary, score & updates -  Live - BBC Sport

Josh Dasilva would take to Twitter after the match to make his intentions clear regarding the challenge, which saw him sent off;

Hojbjerg would respond to the Brentford playmaker with a classy message, assuring him that he is fine;

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sends message to Josh Dasilva after red card for  horror tackle - Mirror Online

Spurs will be looking to avoid an unexpected upset against Marine, who are the competitions lowest ranked side heading into the third round.

With such a large gulf in class between the two sides, Spurs are expected to give a rest to a number of starters.

Jose Mourinho was asked about his squad selection ahead of Sunday’s fixture and had the following to say;

Is Gareth Bale going to be fit for Sunday?

“He trained today first time with us so tomorrow second time and tomorrow after training we will make a decision and what I can say and it’s also a way to show you the way we are looking, the respect we have for this fixture, is that Gareth told me he would like to go and would like to play so if tomorrow if the feelings are positive, Gareth will come.”

Will Harvey White and Jack Clarke be involved?

“Harvey and Jack they are U23s, they play U23s when we feel that they should go there and take minutes but there are professionals. They belong with the first team squad, they train with the first team squad since day one in pre-season.

“They played in the Europa League so let’s look at them as first team players and of course they will be involved in the game but they are involved so many times so it’s nothing new.”

The Portuguese coach also revealed that he would be including one U18 player for the trip to Rossett Park.

“With a starting 11 plus nine on the bench we are speaking about 20 players. I can tell you, in this 20 player we will take only one U18 player. So we will take one U18 player who will be on the bench, like we had also that in other matches.

“We had that in many other matches. One kid will be on the bench, so out of 20 only one. Apart from that we have 19 players from the first team squad”

Harvey White posts on Instagram after Tottenham debut

Sunday’s fixture is undoubtedly the biggest game in the Marine’s history and a record breaking turnout was definitely on the card, however the government’s new lock-down procedures have caused the fixture to be played behind closed doors.

The absence of a crowd would have been a huge financial loss for Marine, so the club decided to sell virtual tickets in an attempt to generate some income.

Tottenham themselves have also pitched in by offering four stadium tour vouchers and four Dare Skywalk vouchers as prizes for the club raffle.

Marine have currently sold over 10,000 virtual tickets, 3,434 more than the maximum capacity of their stadium.

Marine have beaten Barnoldswick Town, Frickley, Runcorn Linnets, Nantwich Town, Chester FC, Colchester and Havant & Waterlooville on route to the third round.

Get to know Marine AFC with Sam Carroll of the Liverpool Echo | Tottenham  Hotspur

Tottenham team news:

Erik Lamela is in with a chance of returning to the side. The Argentine hasnt been selected since his breach of government restrictions.

Giovani Lo Celso remains out with an injury and isn’t expected to make a return until after January.

Gareth Bale is in the running for a return from injury.

Matt Doherty is available for selection after serving his suspension for a red card against Leeds.

One of Dane Scarlett or Alfie Devine is expected to make the bench.

Predicted XI: Hart, Davies, Rodon, Tanganga, Doherty, Winks, White, Dele, Moura, Vinicius, Bergwijn

Marine team news:

Marine manager Neil Young revealed that Liverpool have helped them prepare for Tottenham by sending footage for the players and staff to analyse. Both Everton and Liverpool have also offered training facilities to the club.

Predicted XI: Passant, Davies, Miley, Raven, Joyce, Doyle, Hmami, Barrigan, Kengni, Cummins, Touray

Written by Reece Coughlan